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SportsBuchholz brings old-school arsenal to Blue Jays rotation

14:51  15 april  2019
14:51  15 april  2019 Source:   thestar.com

How Blue Jays’ Clay Buchholz Felt Watching Red Sox’s Ring Ceremony

How Blue Jays’ Clay Buchholz Felt Watching Red Sox’s Ring Ceremony Clay Buchholz was in a pretty weird spot Tuesday afternoon. The longtime Boston Red Sox pitcher was on hand to watch the World Series champions receive their rings at Fenway Park. But unlike David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez and a slew of other ex-Red Sox, Buchholz wasn't there as a fan. No, 34-year-old right hander was in the opposing dugout, wearing a Toronto Blue Jays uniform. Buchholz signed with the Blue Jays during the offseason, but began the year on the injured list with a sore elbow.

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo joins Baseball Central to explain why he has tinkered with his starting lineup every game so far, and why “This is the only thing I’ve really done,” said Buchholz , whose only jobs outside of baseball were at a local school and as a waiter in a Mexican restaurant

The Blue Jays have yet to officially decide what they intend to do with Buchholz . The expectation is that he will eventually join the rotation , but it might not happen by Opening Day. Instead Toronto plans to take a cautious approach and bring Buchholz along slowly for a debut a little later in the year.

Buchholz brings old-school arsenal to Blue Jays rotation© Fred Thornhill Clay Buchholz no longer brings the heat like he did in his Red Sox days. Instead, he delivers a wider range of pitches to keep hitters off balance.

If Clay Buchholz proved anything in his successful Blue Jays debut on Saturday, it’s that pitching savvy and lower velocities remain relevant in this day and age of strikeouts, 100-m.p.h. pitchers and spin rates.

Buchholz worked six innings in Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Rays, surviving with stuff ranging from 76 to 88 m.p.h. while many eyes were on Tampa’s reigning Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell and his filthy fastball — which touches 96 — and strike-to-ball breaking pitches.

Gurriel, Hernandez drive in late runs as Jays beat Rays in Buchholz's debut

Gurriel, Hernandez drive in late runs as Jays beat Rays in Buchholz's debut Clay Buchholz prepared for his first start in a Blue Jays uniform by rewatching film of himself pitching at Rogers Centre. 

Clay Buchholz will be joining the Toronto Blue Jays starting rotation for the first time this One of the last pieces the Toronto Blue Jays added during spring training is ready to step in and join the team this weekend. The 34-year- old right-hander was outstanding in 2018, recording a 7-2 record with a 2.01

Clay Buchholz will be joining the Toronto Blue Jays starting rotation for the first time this One of the last pieces the Toronto Blue Jays added during spring training is ready to step in and join the team this weekend. The 34-year- old right-hander was outstanding in 2018, recording a 7-2 record with a 2.01

The contrast suggests Buchholz was fortunate to last six innings. But the new Jay is a different pitcher than he was with the Red Sox from 2007-15, when he thrived with mid-90s heat and devastating breaking pitches. He’s learned to refine his approach with less velocity, in part because of a series of injuries over the years — elbow, back, stomach and esophagus.

“I look at a lot of different things now,” Buchholz said Sunday, before the Jays closed out their series with the Tampa Bay Rays at the Rogers Centre. “I look at pitching to hitters, to the weakness of the hitter. I used to — when I was throwing 94 to 96 — rip the fastball, just throw it, and then add the curveball, the changeup, here or there.

“Now it’s the best pitch for the situation, going after hitters’ tendencies and what they aren’t hitting well in that particular situation. Try and read the swing a bit more … I can’t be in the middle of the plate. I try to stay off the plate, find spots and pitch to them. I’m better at that than I used to be.”

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F.W. Buchholz High School . We are committed to the success of every student. Tickets are on sale now for the 5th annual A Taste For Music to benefit the Buchholz Band & Aviance Program. The event will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2019, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Best Western Gateway Grand in

Get the latest updated stats for Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Clay Buchholz on ESPN.com. Clay Buchholz . #36 SP. Throws: R, Bats: L. Toronto Blue Jays .

Buchholz also reflects an old-school approach where pitchers in previous decades would use less than 100 per cent effort to throw certain pitches at certain quadrants of the strike zone.

For example, lefty Jim Kaat, who pitched for five teams between 1959 and 1983, once told his catcher not to bother putting down any signs because he was going to throw his fastball to a certain spot until hitters figured it out.

That approach led to more complete games and fewer injuries than in today’s game, where pitchers are often trained to throw with maximum effort at 95 m.p.h. or more. They also use analytics and machines that measure spin rates, such as Rapsodo, as well as instructors who specialize in increasing velocity. All of this has combined to produce record strikeouts totals in the majors over the past two seasons.

“It’s everywhere,” said Buchholz. “The young kids coming up now, that’s what they do. They throw 95 to 100. But I watched Zack Greinke (former teammate in Arizona) a lot last year, and he’s similar to what I do. I mean, yeah, he’ll come in there with his 92 and 93, but he’s at 88 or so a lot and he’s really good at it.

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Blue Jays : Buchholz 'here to start'. No timetable set for right-hander to debut in Spring Training rotation . - With the ink dried on his contract and his physical passed, right-handed pitcher Clay Buchholz , 34, officially became the newest Blue Jay on Tuesday.

The Blue Jays managed just three total hits on the afternoon, handcuffed as they were by Mike Clevinger and a host of relievers. Buchholz has been eased him into things following last year's flexor issues in his pitching arm but hopes to join the Blue Jays ' rotation for the mid-April series

“I watched him a lot last year and I got to know that … I don’t have to throw every pitch as hard as I can … I can throw it at a 90 per cent level and know almost exactly where it’s going, rather than flying open (in my delivery) and then trying to catch up. That’s where mistakes happen, so I try to minimize mistakes.”

Buchholz adds that he pays attention to analytics, but has never used spin-rate technology or data. Instead, he’s one of a shrinking number of starters who prefer to use an arsenal of six or seven different pitches to keep hitters off balance.

“I’ve always thrown the same pitches, but I’m making them different,” Buchholz said. “Like my cutter. I throw it, but I’m making it a slider whenever I fell like I need to, making it break more, throwing it slower or throwing it harder.

“So, I’m using all of my pitches, but I’m making them two pitches apiece. I can take velocity off or I can add some to it, and that manipulates the way the ball moves. That’s something I mess with and try to get a grasp on, and the whole thing is getting better at it.”

Mark Zwolinski is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @markzwol

Blue Jays offence all wet in loss to Twins.
The Blue Jays went through some growing pains on a wet night in Minnesota on Wednesday, with a couple of young pitchers battling the Twins lineup in a 4-1 loss at Target Field. Jays starter Trent Thornton, trying to bounce back after an off-night against the Tampa Bay Rays last weekend, was charged with all four runs in 42/3 innings of work. Rookie reliever Elvis Luciano came on with two out in the fifth and a runner on first, then walked C.J. Cron, uncorked a wild pitch and surrendered an RBI single by Marwin Gonzalez before settling down and retiring the next four batters he faced.

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